Matthew 22:34–40

‘Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’”’ (vv37–39) 

Jesus’ summary of the Law and the Prophets teaches us to see everyone through Jesus’ eyes. There’s no demand for anyone learning with us to have a faith-based approach to life. Only that they recognise our understanding grows from an ancient world view, evident throughout Scripture, offering a realistic and comprehensive understanding of who we are, why we’re here, what’s wrong with the world, and how this can be addressed. 

Whilst only one amongst a number of approaches, it has enjoyed the benefit of centuries of application and, whilst interpreted through a variety of lenses, still addresses the critical questions of how humans can creatively relate to life and each other. For those of us who choose to build our life upon Christian precepts, the whole weight of history and tradition places a responsibility for action upon our shoulders. Jesus isn’t arguing for mutual exchange.

At times we must grimly hang onto our love for God, despite contrary evidence. Christianity is a tradition established and sustained by faith (Heb. 11:1), faith in God’s ability to fulfil His promise. It also invites us to care for our neighbour (who is anyone we meet) without expecting anything in return, because Christianity is established through sacrificial initiatives, never built on the basis of transaction or negotiation. Each of us can learn to become the touchstone for positive and practical change in ourselves and others, and so strengthen social cohesion through sacrificial love. 

SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Ps. 10:1–11; 2 Sam. 9:1–8; Luke 10:25–37; Heb. 11:8–16.

AN ACTION TO TAKE: God’s heart is for us to be people who care and come alongside one another.

A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, help me to become a practitioner of the two greatest commandments You have given us. Amen.’

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.